“Our policy decisions will be fact-based and data-driven.”And,
Then, the next day, he traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania and spoke about why a federal program to deliver affordable broadband access nationwide is essential:“As the country’s expert agency on communications, it is our job to pursue this vision of a more connected America, focusing on the following goals:
- Promoting universal broadband that’s robust, affordable and open.
- Pursuing policies that promote job creation, competition, innovation and investment.
- Protecting and empowering consumers and families. . . .”
“Why are we lagging in many broadband categories but comparably better in linking classrooms? Because we had a plan.Let’s see: a fact driven agency and a leader who sees the need for government intervention to make universal affordable broadband a reality. An excellent stepping off point for Chairman Genachowski. I met him many years ago when I was interviewing then-FCC Chair Reed Hundt for a legal publication and Genachowski was Hundt’s Chief Counsel. We had both been out of law school just a couple of years. Even during my short visit, he seemed impressive. Leadership such as what Genachowski has proposed on broadband is essential if we are going to be successful in making it universally available and affordable. At least four states, California , Maine, Texas , and Wisconsin created in-state funding mechanisms to bring broadband to schools, libraries, and community centers while the federal government dithered under the Bush administration.
In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress enacted a program called the “E-Rate” to provide discounted Internet access in schools and libraries. The FCC implemented the plan and our country has made real progress – though there’s much more to do in this area.
Today, as the government moves quickly on billions in much-needed broadband grants, we are also moving on a broadband strategic plan for the entire country so that we can renew American leadership and competitiveness for the 21st Century.”
Maybe the time has arrived for the New York PSC Commissioners, all of whom lack prior experience in telecom and universal service issues, to make use of their state broadband service (not available to low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford it) to watch the new FCC Chair at meeting webcasts, and learn what it means to be a leader in the effort to achieve universal affordable broadband and how to play the necessary regulatory role to make it happen in New York sooner rather than later.